HCM CITY — Two ports in HCM City that cost VND765 billion (US$36.6 million) to build have been unused for several years because they lack key access roads.
The Sai Gon Transportation Mechanical Corp (Samco) invested VND367 billion ($17.5 million) in the Phu Huu Port, located in District 9, and VND398 billion ($19.1 million) in the Phu Dinh Port, located in District 8.
"I feel unhappy to see huge investments left unused," Nguyen Hong Anh, General Director of Samco, said during a meeting with the Economy and Budgets Department under the HCM City People's Council on Tuesday.
He said the first stage of Phu Huu Port project was carried out between 2007 and 2009, including piers to accommodate vessels of up to 36,000 tonnes as well as warehouses and container terminals covering 24 ha.
However, three years on, no ship docked at the port, Anh said, adding that Samco had decided to suspend investment in the second stage of Phu Huu Port Project this year although preparations have been completed.
The stumbling block in getting the port to function normally is the absence of a road connecting it to the surrounding road network.
Nguyen Ngoc Thao, Deputy Director of Ben Nghe Port – a subsidiary of Samco and investor in the Phu Huu Port, said the Ha Tien Cement Co has invested some VND300 billion in a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project to build a road linking a cement plant situated near the port, with the Nguyen Duy Trinh Port in District 9. The road is scheduled to be completed later this year.
However, even the new road would open up little access to the port as Nguyen Duy Trinh Street is too small for container trucks.
Besides, the city has yet to map out a plan to build an 800 metre road linking Nguyen Duy Trinh Street to the Ha Noi Highway.
Meanwhile, the Phu Dinh Port, which was brought into operation in September 2011, has received few vessels because Ho Hoc Lam and An Duong Vuong streets leading to the port are too narrow and often flooded after showers and high tides.
To improve the situation, the company has asked district authorities and relevant agencies not to allow vessels to dock on the Tau Hu Canal. They should instead be asked to use the Phu Dinh River Port for handling.
However, a member of the HCM City People's Council opposed "administrative measures" to bring boats and vessels into Phu Dinh Port.
He said big vessels cannot dock at the Phu Dinh River Port because its wharves were only suitable for small boats. — VNS